Fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders in San Diego County scored similar results on the California Physical Fitness Test than the previous year’s classes, defying a trend of drops among students statewide, according to figures released Monday.

Children practicing yoga. Photo by Ilona via Flickr

Results in the San Diego Unified School District, the region’s largest, lagged behind their countywide counterparts in the lower grades, but exceeded the ninth-grade scores.

In the SDUSD, 24.2 percent of fifth-graders made it into the “Healthy Fitness Zone,” along with 30.9 percent of seventh-graders and 46.2 percent of ninth-graders. Those figures were also similar to the previous year.

More than 1.3 million students statewide took the fitness test, which measures their health in six categories — aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk strength, upper body strength and flexibility.

Among county fifth-graders tested during the 2015-16 school year, 28.6 percent fulfilled all six fitness criteria, along with 37.8 percent of seventh-graders and 44.5 percent of ninth-graders, according to the California Department of Education.

During testing the previous year, 28.1 percent of fifth-graders met all six fitness criteria, as did 37.8 percent of seventh- graders and 45.2 percent of ninth-graders.

Across California, 25.9 percent of fifth-graders landed in the “Healthy Fitness Zone” by fulfilling all six fitness criteria, as well as 32.1 percent of seventh-graders and 36.7 percent of ninth-graders. Those numbers were all down from the previous year.

“Good nutrition, proper rest and exercise are key ingredients for success in the classroom and in life,” said Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction.

“This year’s physical fitness test results, which are down very slightly, remind all of us as educators, parents and community leaders that we need to convey this message to our children,” Torlakson said.

“One of the best ways to do that is by eating healthy foods and exercising so we can serve as role models for healthy living, not only for the sake of our children, but also for the future health of our communities and our state.”

— City News Service

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